Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a list of frequently asked questions related to Admissions information at the Tepper School of Business. Apply Now
  • Admissions Information

    Who should apply to the Tepper School?

    Successful Tepper MBA candidates come from a wide variety of backgrounds and profiles. We encourage interested candidates to focus on the middle 80% range, rather than the mean or median, when reviewing class profile and considering whether or not they should apply. For example, half of our students have GMAT scores below the average, and although most students have between 2 and 8 years of professional experience, there are several who joined the Tepper School directly after their undergraduate study or have more than 8 years of experience. We are seeking candidates from all academic disciplines and generally our class includes approximately 50 percent who come from non-technical backgrounds.


    We like to remind students that the only sure thing to count on in the admission process is that you cannot get in if you don't apply! If you have any questions regarding your candidacy, the admissions team would be happy to speak with you. Feel free to contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our counselors.


    What are the Tepper School admissions process requirements?

    To be considered for admission, you need to submit a complete application portfolio that includes the following documents: online application form; unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended (including the associated grading scales) at both the graduate and undergraduate level; one letter of reference; official GMAT scores; official TOEFL or IELTS scores (for applicants whose native language is not English); affidavit of financial support (only for students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents); current resume; employment record; required essays; and application fee. Our application checklist provides further information on the application process.

     

    When should I apply? What are the application deadlines? When will I receive my decision letter?

    We keep our deadlines and decision release dates updated online, so our website is the best reference to check on deadlines that keep your process on track.

     

    Do you weigh some parts of the application more strongly than others?


    No single component in the application portfolio is more important than any other. We view each candidate in a holistic fashion and understand that one area of development may be effectively offset by a strength in another area. 


    May I receive a Fee Waiver?

    Fee waivers are granted in some circumstances. To request an application fee waiver, you need to submit a letter to the Tepper School Masters Admissions Office detailing why you should be considered for the waiver. Requests will be reviewed on an individual basis.

    In appreciation and gratitude for their service to our country, all U.S. military personnel and veterans receive an automatic fee waiver. For an application fee waiver, please contact Debbie Macedonia.

    If I am not admitted to the program, can I re-apply?

    Yes, we welcome candidates who wish to re-apply in a subsequent year.  It is common for us to welcome re-applicants to a new class each fall, and we encourage re-applicants to learn more about the process and our guidelines.  If you are re-applying, you do need to submit a new application; however, we will waive the application fee and only require one new letter of recommendation. Please visit our Re-applicants page for more information needed in order to re-apply.

    How will I receive my admissions decision?

    Our primary means of communicating with all candidates is via email, so please make sure to use a personal email address that you will be able to access throughout the application process. Also, make sure to update your online profile if your email address changes. All admission decisions are released to candidates using our online application system. You will be notified by email when your decision is ready for viewing and you will need your login/password to access your admission decision. A hard copy of admission offer letters will also be mailed to the postal address listed on your application.


    Are there restrictions regarding who can apply for the Part-Time Online Hybrid MBA?

    Residents of certain states are ineligible to apply for enrollment in courses and programs delivered via distance education.

    For Carnegie Mellon courses and programs delivered via distance education only: Carnegie Mellon is not able to accept students who are residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota for enrollment in courses and programs delivered via distance education because it has not applied for or received authorization from these states to deliver courses and programs via distance education to residents of these states. Carnegie Mellon has not currently applied for or received authorization from these states because Carnegie Mellon has determined that the administrative and other requirements to obtain and maintain authorization for its distance education courses and programs that would otherwise be delivered to residents of these states, including the fees charged by these states and the additional administrative costs associated with doing so, are disproportionately burdensome, excessive and/or prohibitive, at least at the present time.

    Attention residents of Alabama, Arkansas, and Minnesota:

    If you are a resident of Alabama, Arkansas or Minnesota, you are not eligible to apply for enrollment in Carnegie Mellon courses and programs delivered via distance education. Note, however, that residents of Alabama, Arkansas and Minnesota are eligible to apply for enrollment in all other Carnegie Mellon courses and programs, including those offered at any of its various campus locations.

    Inquiries regarding the above may be directed to:

    Director of Enrollment Services
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Warner Hall A19
    5000 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    412-268-5399
    krieg@andrew.cmu.edu

  • LGBT


    Should I be out in my application essays?

    As with all candidates, the information you include in your application essays is a personal choice. One of our primary objectives is to get to know you better and evaluate how you will contribute to the Tepper School community. If you are comfortable sharing this information with the Tepper School’s Admissions Committee and you feel that your experience as an LGBT individual will help demonstrate your candidacy for business school, we would appreciate hearing your story.  Also, mentioning your participation in LGBT-related clubs and organizations can help show that you are engaged in your community, another attribute we look for in MBA candidates.

     

    What about partners?

    Partners are a very important part of the Tepper School community. We welcome partners to participate in any school activity open to significant others. Also, partners can find an important community and network of their own in the Tepper Partners Club.

     

    What does Out&Allied do?

    Out&Allied provides a supportive environment to enhance the social, academic, and career experiences of current and prospective lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, allies, and partners at the Tepper School of Business. Out&Allied gives forum for students to voice career concerns as it relates to the work place understanding and acceptance of LGBT individuals. Out&Allied provides this support on campus by promoting respect for the diversity at the Tepper School and the value this diversity lends to our education and future work places. We aim to link the social and professional network of the LGBT Tepper community to similar groups from other business schools and facilitate dialog with employers who value a diverse workplace.

     

    Can I be put in contact with a LGBT student or alum?

    Certainly. The tight-knit community at the Tepper School is best appreciated upon meeting and talking to our current students. They are not only our best ambassadors, but they are a great resource to find out what it will be like to be a student, to live in Pittsburgh, and to have other questions about the program and culture answered straight-forwardly.

     

    A current student that might be helpful to you is Brigid Johnson, VP of Admissions and Communications for the Out & Allied Club.  If you are interested in speaking with an alum, please contact Marissa Fang.

     

    For additional information, please contact the Tepper Masters Admissions Office

     

    Should I be out in recruiting?

    Like many aspects of the search for employment, that is up to the individual student. In our experience, being out has not negatively impacted students at the Tepper School. Each student is encouraged to understand what is important to them on all dimensions, and in exploring career opportunities, to seek employers who are a good match for them personally.

     

    What if I don't want to be out?

    Although we are able to provide you with a supportive network to discuss personal and professional matters, you certainly do not have to be out at the Tepper School, if you would prefer. This is your personal choice, and we are here to offer you our support, if you should need it.

     

    Does the University have a nondiscrimination policy which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity?

    Yes. For more information, please read Carnegie Mellon University's Statement of Assurance.

    Partnerships

  • Military and Veteran

    As a US active duty soldier or veteran, am I eligible for an application fee waiver?

    Yes, as a GMAC Military-Friendly Business School, we will waive the $200 application fee for active duty US military personnel, veterans and retirees.  Please contact Debbie Macedonia to discuss their fee waiver.

     

    Does my military experience count as professional experience?

    Yes!  You can utilize multiple areas in the application to highlight your military experience. Use specific examples in your essays and interview, give a brief overview in your resume including your titles, and additional details in the employment record. Show your role and growth as a leader by noting promotions and including details such as how many people you were leading or the value of the equipment for which you were responsible.

    Your recommenders can also highlight your roles, skills, and abilities in their letters. Candidates with military experience tend to have strong team and leadership experience (which we are looking for in applicants), so having your recommenders highlight how you performed in those situations adds another dimension to your application.

     

    Also, we understand if because of security reasons you are not able to provide specific details of certain roles, events, or an extended period of time. Please make a note of that in the optional essay of the application if you think that it would be helpful to the Admissions team.

     

    I have a number of questions and concerns about the application process, the MBA program, career opportunities, etc. Who can I just talk to about this?

    Please feel free to email Debbie Macedonia, Assistant Director of Masters Admissions, and she will be happy to schedule a time to talk over the phone. She can also help connect you with current students or recent alumni in the military community.

     

    What if I am admitted into the program, but then my deployment orders are extended or my release date is pushed back, and I wouldn't be able to start classes on time?

    While we usually do not grant admission deferrals, we feel that this situation is unique, and so we will defer your admission to the next year. Please make sure to contact Executive Director, Kelly R. Wilson to so they can assist you through this process.

     

    Is the Tepper School participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

    Yes, the Tepper School is participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program under the new GI Bill which assists in meeting the cost difference above the amount provided by the new GI Bill.

     

    Also helpful for your financial planning would be reviewing your eligibility under the GI Bill as well as using the GI Bill calculator to get an idea of your eligibility in Pennsylvania.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also offers financial aid and grants to veterans and national guardsman.

     

    Are there any scholarships?

    Yes, all full-time MBA candidates are reviewed for merit-based scholarships.

     

    How does the Tepper School assist in transitioning from the military to civilian career paths?

    Many of our students are making a career transition. The Career Opportunities Center (COC) assists in many ways, and they get you started at BaseCamp Orientation before classes even begin.

    They provide you with a suggested "road map" of tasks and things you should be doing in order to help make your career change successful and make you an attractive candidate for corporate recruiters. You also have the benefit of year-round coaching, mentoring, and interview skills workshops. And the support does not end with graduation, as the COC works with our alumni as well.

    What happens if there is a duty assignment that causes me to miss classes for some period (ranging from a couple of months to as much as a year)?

    We've had students in our program that have been in this situation, and they took a Leave of Absence.  In this situation, you would work with the Student Services Office to make the arrangements for your time away and for when you return.

     

    Does the Tepper School or Carnegie Mellon University have any military support organizations on campus?

    There is a Military Veterans Association on campus started by Tepper MBA students. Also, second year students and alumni who have military experience help in the personal and professional transition and in positioning your military experience in an advantageous way for recruiters.

     

    Is there an advantage for a vet to go full-time versus part-time?

    Both are great options and deciding which program will depend on what will fit you best – keep in mind that our full- and par- time programs share the same facility and faculty, and in the end, you graduate with the same degree.  Some points to consider:  We have vets in both programs. Do you want to work full-time while getting your MBA? The part-time program allows that flexibility. Are your career goals a big transition from your previous experience? If so, the internship component in the full-time program would be advantageous. The Admissions team would be happy to discuss with you further which program might be a good fit for you and your individual goals and situation.

     

    What are some popular courses of study among military students at the Tepper School?

    Some of the more popular areas among our military students seem to be finance, operations/logistics, entrepreneurship, consulting, general management, and the Dual MBA/MSPPM degree with Heinz College. But keep in mind that the flexibility of the program allows you many opportunities to explore and there are a wide variety of electives available - both at the Tepper School and across Carnegie Mellon’s campus. The Tepper School has among the largest offering of electives of any Top 15 B-school, so feel free to take full advantage.

  • Qualifications

    What does the typical student look like?

    There is no such thing as a "typical" student. He or she does not exist! Although our most recent class has a high proportion of students from engineering/science backgrounds, we are seeking candidates from all academic disciplines. Consider this: in a typical year, approximately half of our students come from non-technical backgrounds. In other words, you don't need to be an engineer to achieve great things at the Tepper School. Remember: the only sure-thing in the admissions process is that you can't get in if you don't apply!

    What is the average GPA?

    You can find the average GPA of our most recent class on our class profile.  However, the admissions committee examines the applicant's entire academic record, not just the GPA. We look at grade trends, the major, courses taken as well as the rigor of the program and institution. We encourage interested candidates to focus on the middle 80 percent instead of the mean or median GPA.

    How important is the GMAT/GRE to my application?

    We are often asked about the role of test scores, and we encourage interested candidates to focus on the test score range, rather than the mean or median, when reviewing class profile factors and considering whether they should apply. Consider this: half of our entering class of students have GMAT scores below the median. Similarly, although most students have between two and eight years of professional experience, there are several that joined the Tepper School directly from their undergraduate program and others that have more than eight years of experience.

    Am I required to take the GMAT/GRE? When should I take the GMAT/GRE? What is the average GMAT/GRE score? Is there a minimum GMAT/GRE score required to apply to the Tepper School of Business?

    All MBA applicants must complete either the GMAT or the GRE. Since both tests are now offered year round, the examination can be taken at any time. However, you should take the test no later than the application deadline for which you are applying. This is the second year that we will be accepting GRE scores. As such, there is not yet a GRE average. There is no minimum score required for either test.

    What if I take the GMAT/GRE more than once?

    When reviewing your application, our admissions committee always uses your best GMAT/GRE score at the time of application.

    What is the minimum TOEFL score?

    A minimum score of 600 PBT/250 CBT/100 IBT is required for international students entering the MBA program.

    May I waive the TOEFL/IELTS?

    International students who hold a degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction was English are eligible to waive the TOEFL/IELTS. Applicants should send a letter requesting the waiver along with their application packet. Note that a statement indicating that the primary language of instruction was English should be listed on the academic documents. If the academic document does not include this statement, an official letter from the University Registrar indicating English is the mode of instruction

    On average, how many years of full-time work experience do most accepted candidates have?

    Most of our MBA students fall in a range of two to eight years of post-undergraduate professional experience. You can find the work experience average of our most recent class on our class profile. However, all factors are also reviewed and evaluated:  the impact a candidate has made on his or her company, growth in responsibility over time, leadership experience, and other factors are used when evaluating experience. 

    Significant professional experience is not a requirement for application to the Tepper School. We recognize that the contributions students make to the Tepper School community come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We seek diversity in all dimensions and welcome applications from exceptionally talented and motivated individuals who may not yet have significant experience. When reviewing an application, the admissions committee is seeking to understand an individual’s potential for professional success and is more interested in the quality of a person's experience. Think about the impact you've already had on your organization, whether you've led a team, a project or an initiative. Be prepared to share examples of your teamwork and leadership experiences.

    Are there any pre-requisites?

    MBA applicants must hold the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree and demonstrate an aptitude for mathematics. Entering MBA students must have completed one semester of college calculus or statistics or demonstrate other evidence of mathematics capability. Candidates who do not meet the math requirements may be admitted with the provisions that they complete the necessary math courses prior to joining the program. We offer an Math Skills Review Workshop during our BaseCamp orientation for students who would like a review before classes begin.

    Do you accept 3-year undergraduate degrees?

    We will consider applicants who hold a 3-year undergraduate degree. In general, due to the highly competitive nature of our applicant pool, candidates with additional education beyond their 3-year degree are more competitive.


  • Admissions Process

    Will I be notified of my application status?

    Applicants who use our online application system are able to monitor their application status online. To check on the status of your application and supporting documents, simply log into the application system of our online application provider (the same link used to prepare and submit the online application). Click on the “View Application” button. Next, click on the “Application Status” link on the left-hand side of the screen.


    Why has the school not received my supporting documents?

    There are several likely reasons why supporting documents might take some time to show on the online status. The most common explanations (and steps you can take in advance to ensure arrival of your supporting documents) are:

    1) Time: Due to the large volume of mail that we receive during our application deadlines, please allow 10-14 days for your application materials to be processed. As our office reviews mail and processes the supporting documents, your online status will be updated.

    2) Inconsistency in the applicant's name as represented in supporting documents: We recommend that you ensure that all materials arriving for your application have consistency in your name. If you realize that there is a discrepancy (e.g., a maiden name), please contact our office at 412-268-5687 or mba-admissions@andrew.cmu.edu.

  • Curriculum

    What makes the mini-semester system unique?

    The mini-semester system - now duplicated by most other top business schools- splits the typical semester in half, creating four mini-semesters per academic year.   Each mini-semester is 6.5 weeks long, and students typically take 4 - 5 different courses each mini-semester. This system allows students the opportunity to gain exposure to a wide range of topics, and many unique courses. This format allows students flexibility to choose from among more than 120 electives in 13 areas of concentration.


    What are the degree requirements for the MBA Program?

    All MBA candidates enrolled in the MBA Program complete a required core curriculum in addition to 90 units of electives for a total of 192 units (Please note that students pursuing a dual degree may have a different total unit requirement). Most business school subjects range from 6 to 12 units based on an approximation of weekly class hours and outside preparation time. 

    The MBA Curriculum  is a helpful reference for reviewing course flow and specific core and elective courses as well as timing for Accelerate Leadership Center workshops, internship/job interviewing and Capstone courses.



    What are the different concentrations in the MBA program?

    Most Tepper MBAs choose to pursue 3 - 4 concentrations during their time in school.  The concentration options include:  Accounting, Communications, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Social Responsibility, Finance, Information Systems, Marketing, Operations Management, Operations Research, Organizational Behavior, and Strategy. 


    What dual degree programs are available at Carnegie Mellon?

    We are constantly seeking ways to tailor programs to meet new demands. At present, we offer several collaborative programs in law, software engineering, computational finance, healthcare policy, engineering, and public policy. If you are considering a dual degree, please review the details as well as admissions requirements, which differ with each option. 

    Do you accept any transfer credit?

    No.  The Tepper School does not accept any transfer credits from any other MBA Program.


  • Campus Visits

    May I visit the Tepper School of Business?

    Visitors are always welcome! As a prospective student, you are encouraged to explore our program, campus environment, classroom, student experience, and, of course, the Pittsburgh region. Campus visitors are welcome Mondays through Thursdays, when classes are in session. Class visits, tours, meetings with students, and a weekly information session (Monday-Thursdays at 11:30) are among the options available when you visit. You can schedule a visit by calling us at (412) 268-5687.

    We promise to provide a memorable, worthwhile experience when you visit, including attending a class and spending time with our current students and faculty. For this reason, visits are discouraged on Fridays and during the summer. Please visit our Campus Visits and Interviews page for additional information.


    Where should I stay when I visit?

     For a list of accommodations, please visit http://www.cmu.edu/home/visitors/accommodate.html. The following four hotels are in close proximity to the Tepper School:


    Marriott Courtyard, Shadyside
    5308 Liberty Ave.

    Pittsburgh, PA 15224
    412-683-3113


    Hampton Inn
    3315 Hamlet Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    412-681-1000 or 1-800-426-7866
    Use the code "Pitt OK" for a special rate


    Wyndham University Center
    100 Lytton Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    412-682-6200


    The Shadyside Inn
    5405 Fifth Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15232
    412-682-2300


    How do I get to campus?

    Please consult our campus map for helpful directions from the airport or within driving proximity.


    If I am unable to visit campus, are there other opportunities to meet in person with the admissions staff to learn more?

    Absolutely! We have an extensive travel schedule where we attend graduate school events, MBA forums and other informational sessions. If you would like to know if we will be in or near your city, our Events Calendar lists cities and events. You are also welcome to phone or Skype to schedule a chat with a member of the Admissions team.  Please email us to set up a time.

  • Student Life

    What resources are available for my spouse/significant other?

    Among the advantages of being the smallest school among the Top 15 B-schools is the rare, special culture associated with the Tepper School community.  We are a tight-knit, collaborative, energetic community that values high performance and standards alongside humility and exceptional collaboration and teamwork.  When a new class of students arrives, we ensure that all spouses and partners are included in key orientation events. The role of students' families is vital to a successful academic experience, and we don't take the valuable involvement of partners for granted!  From our weekly Friday social hours (nicknamed B**rs) to welcome and award events, Tepper Partners are invited to become involved with many aspects of student life. 

    Tepper Partners and their families have access to all Carnegie Mellon recreational facilities, libraries, Partners Club events, and a host of other services designed to ensure that life during grad school is a memorable highlight for students as well as their families.


    What housing options are available to business school students?

    Tepper MBA students live off-campus. The Carnegie Mellon Housing Office is an excellent resource for locating affordable housing that is close to campus or near the public transportation system. We encourage prospective students to take self-guided tours of the nearby neighborhoods in order to become familiar with what Pittsburgh has to offer and the many affordable options.


    Where do most students live?

    Most students prefer the nearby neighborhoods of Shadyside or Squirrel Hill.  Both are convenient to campus, affordable with many retail, recreational, dining and entertainment options.  Likewise, these neighborhoods are along the popular bus and university shuttle routes. We often hear visitors remark on the area's affordability.  The cost of living in Pittsburgh is well below that of comparable metro regions and is a welcome data point for prospective students!  When tallying the investment necessary to attend a top-tier business school, students quickly rate Pittsburgh's affordability as a significant advantage.  Likewise, we are proud of Pittsburgh's long-standing rank as one of the most family friendly cities in the U.S.  From impressive safety records to plentiful options for both singles and families, Pittsburgh and the surrounding region consistently ranks among the nation's best for its neighborhood offerings.
  • Tuition and Financial Aid

    What is the cost of the MBA program?

    Tuition and fees for Full-time MBA students are $58,300 in 2014-2015. To view complete budget estimates for each of the three Tepper MBA delivery formats, please view our student budget sheets. We encourage students - as part of their budgeting process - to make note of the cost of living associated with Pittsburgh.  The difference as compared to other top tier peer schools is material. 


    What types of financial aid are available?

    All admitted MBA students (U.S. and International) are considered for merit scholarships using the information provided in their MBA application. U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for U.S. federally funded loan programs through the school. Our Financial Aid information provides access to a variety of forms that highlight available assistance.

  • Career Opportunities

    What career opportunities are available to MBA students? What are the employment statistics for the recently graduated class?

    MBA students have an excellent range of career opportunities available through the Career Opportunities Center. Corporations recruit heavily at the Tepper School for both internship and full-time positions. Because of the quality of our students and the school’s broad-based curriculum and generalist approach, the business school graduates are welcomed into many functional areas.